It was just an innocent tick bite, right?
Well, it’s not.What you think is just a rash might become a bigger problem if left untreated. A rash is a symptom of several tick-borne infections, such as tularemia, RockyMountain spotted fever (RMSF), southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI) and Lyme disease.
The Lyme disease rash, called erythema migrans, is round or oval and grows in size over days or weeks. Typically it is an early sign or symptom of infection, along with headache, fever, fatigue and more. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and cause arthritis, facial palsy, Lyme carditis and other symptoms.
Lyme Disease in Maryland
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted by blacklegged deer ticks. Also known as borreliosis, Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infectious disease in the United States, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Jumping 17% more than in 2016, Lyme disease was reported in more than 40,000 confirmed and probable cases in 2017. Though the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the number to be much higher, the CDC estimates that a whopping 300,000 cases of Lyme disease likely occur annually.
In the most recent surveillance data (2017 as of this writing), Lyme disease is prevalent in people ages 40 to 64 years old and the Middle Atlantic, New England and South Atlantic regions have the most number of reported cases. Maryland has a high incidence rate, with 1,891 cases reported, 1,194 of which are confirmed and 697 probable.
How to Prevent Ticks—and Avoid the Diseases They Carry
Although ticks can bite humans in all stages of their life cycle, Lyme disease is mostly transmitted to people by nymphs, or immature ticks. Being less than 2millimeters (about the size of poppy seeds), nymphs are difficult to spot when they feed during the spring and summer months when they are most active (Adult ticks can also transmit the disease, but they are most active during cooler months.)
It’s important to note, though, that ticks don’t jump or fly and can only reach humans by direct contact. They usually cling to brush, shrubs and tall grass, so people who spend a lot of time outdoors in grassy and wooded environments are at an increased risk.
Here’s how you can prevent ticks and avoid Lyme disease and the other infections they carry
1. Cover up.
Garments can provide temporary protection from tick bites, so wearing pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat, and a pair of gloves when going to a woody and grassy area is your first line of defense. Also, do the same with your pets if possible and always keep their leashes on, especially for dogs. Try to avoid any low bushes and long grasses as much as possible, too.
2. Apply insect repellent.
For extra protection, apply insect repellent. Use those that are registered and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (You can use EPA’s tool to search for repellents that suit your needs.) Keep in mind that the product should be cloth-friendly—those with permethrin—so as to avoid any chemical reaction to the garments you are wearing.
3. Use professional pest control services.
The only long-term and sustainable way to get rid of ticks and avoid the diseases they carry is to call pest control experts and avail of their services, such as lawn mowing and/or gardening services, to eradicate the breeding grounds of the ticks.
Maryland Tick Prevention
Ticks may be small but they are infectious, and it is foolish to think you are immune to their ill charms. The ailments they cause, such as Lyme disease,should not to be taken lightly as these could be deadly in the long run when not properly treated.
And because “prevention is better than cure,” it is advisable to eradicate ticks that might be lurking in or near your homes—endangering the health of your entire household, both humans and animals.
On the Fly Pest Solutions provides safe, sustainable and the most up-to-date treatment methods and techniques through its Integrated Pest Management(IPM) system, which deals with the problem at the source.
Is a tick issue pestering you? Call us now!